For Diana, Princess of Wales’ on the Occasion
of her Funeral, September 6, 1997

On the casket a spray of lilies, a small
wreath of shaking tea roses. Sun mottled streets.
Bells toll. A leopard, his golden paws poised
on a maroon field, stares with alarm
at the mournful crowd. Diana’s riding
through the hunting park today. Two motherless
sons, the blood of Charles II join in. She moves
forward without moving.

Elegant women and men ushered into Westminster.
Welsh guardsmen lift the coffin. Voices of high,
boyish tenors heard above organ chords.
A catafalque awaits under the flying
arches. Over the geometry of the black
and white terrazzo, two royal lineages at odds,
she moves forward without moving.

Limousines pull up in front. The Welsh
guardsmen again, shoulders interlocked,
load the hearse with the weight of an old century
that believes these tears are too trite
for affairs of state. She moves forward
without moving

The hearse heads north to an island crypt
fit for a sister of Ophelia
where on a weedy breeze the sweet power
of discarded women rests and moves
forward without moving.

Published Whistling Girls and Cackling Hens, Sandra Larson, Pudding House Chapbook Series, 2007